After the dismal “Freddy’s Dead”, Freddy seemed to be dead and buried for at least a few years. It, however, was in 1994 that Wes Craven came up with the radical idea of bringing Freddy back for another nightmare…a “New Nightmare”. Gone was funny Freddy and the fresh looking 80’s MTV teenagers and in was a concept so unique and groundbreaking that it just couldn’t work? Or could it…
But..let us start back at the beginning. In 1984, horror director Wes Craven created “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” It was acclaimed as one of the scariest movies ever made and made unknowns like Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, and Heather Langenkamp huge stars. Ten years later, Heather is living happily with her husband, Chase, and her son, Dylan. But her life has now been turned upside down because she is being stalked by a person who sounds like Nightmare villain Freddy Krueger. Chase has just been killed in a car accident after he accidentally fell asleep behind the wheel. Dylan refuses to sleep any more, and New Line Cinema has just offered her a part in “the ultimate Nightmare.” But some other strange things have been happening, including earthquakes and Craven being tight-lipped about the script. The ultimate truth is that Freddy Krueger is actually an ancient demon breaking out into our world, but in order to do that, he must go through Heather. And he knows he can get out by harming those near her.
Sound convoluted? Pretentious? Overly meta? Shockingly, no. “New Nightmare” is that rare horror film in which everything works. The performances are pitch perfect, lead by a tour-de-force performance by the amazing Langenkamp. The script is full of twists and turns and the movie is quite possibly the best looking of the entire series. What starts out as a maze of mirrors becomes something much more than your typical nightmare. The film examines the role film plays on those who watch it. Something that Wes Craven’s “Scream” would play out to great effect two years later. I really can’t say enough about this film and homages to the original are expertly placed. It is my favorite horror film of all time and a modern classic.
Buy It Here: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
2 thoughts on “Meta Movie Magic: “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” Review”
Exactly Jarred! I think you hit the nail on the head. This really is the perfectly sequel because it works twofold. It adds something new and highly original to the series (Freddy attacking the actors/crew from the first movie) and also rewards those who have taken the time to watch the entire series (the cameos at the funeral, references to the other sequels, etc). It is easily my favorite sequel of all time and I am glad that it is now getting the acclaim that it deserves.
This is definitely my favorite of the series.
I love how Wes Craven created such a clever plot that plays homage to the awesome original while still being totally fresh. Freddy is the scariest he has been since the original, and the intensity is sky-rocketed!
New Nightmare does what a sequel SHOULD do, and it does be perfectly.
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